Making as Meditation: Why I Craft

My craft area, which fits in a closet and rarely looks this clean
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Last weekend I had the crazy idea to dedicate many hours to turning a bunch of construction paper, cupcake baking cups, wire, and pipe cleaners into something resembling flowers. I did it for the end result, sure (I had promised them to people), but so much of it was about the process.

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I've always been an arts and crafts dabbler, including a period in 2006 and 2007 where I was an Etsy seller rather than just a rabid Etsy window-shopper. A recent post on "Why I DIY" got me thinking again about what sewing, knitting, and these other various craft projects mean to me.

For me, it's about: tapping into a different part of my brain; problem-solving in a fun, fearless way; and usually just about peacefully zoning out. It does something similar to what yoga does for me and what I'd guess other sports and hobbies can do for other people; I feel mindless and yet totally present. Hours pass while all I care about is the transformation of the bits of paper or fabric in front of me. Sure, not everything turns out perfect (and, yes, I have yelled at my sewing machine), but at the end of the day I enjoy the process so much I'm ready and happy to try again.

If you enjoy these kinds of projects, what benefit do you get from them?

(Image credits: Kim R. McCormick)

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